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Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
45 Mins
Yield
Makes 20 appetizer servings
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together first 4 ingredients until well blended. Spread 1 Tbsp. on each bread slice.

Step 2

Cut blanched fresh asparagus into thin, ribbon-like strips, using a vegetable peeler. Divide asparagus and prosciutto among prepared bread slices. Gently press to adhere.

Step 3

Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 15 minutes to 12 hours. Trim crusts from chilled slices, and cut each slice into 2 triangles.

Step 4

THE BLANCHING BLUEPRINT

Step 5

BRING TO A BOIL. Wash and trim vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in kosher salt until the water tastes as salty as the sea (about 1 1/2 Tbsp. per every 5 qt. of water). The salt will enhance the flavor of the vegetables. While the water returns to a boil, fill a large bowl halfway with ice cubes. Add just enough cold water to make the ice float.

Step 6

COOK AND SHOCK. Working with one variety at a time, boil vegetables until they are bright green and crisp-tender (1 to 2 minutes). Transfer to ice water to set the color and texture, using a slotted spoon or tongs. Chill until ice-cold. Cool tip: Try nestling a colander in the ice bath before adding the vegetables. That allows you to drain without bothering with pesky ice.

Step 7

STORE AND SERVE. Drain vegetables, and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Blanched, shocked vegetables will retain their bright color and crisp-tender texture when chilled up to 4 days or frozen up to 3 months. Store in a zip-top plastic bag. Serve as crudités, use in stir-fries or pasta, or sauté.

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